The Yoshida Trail is the most ascended trail on Mt. Fuji, commanding over 300,000 climbers annually (80% of the total number of climbers), and offers the most services and mountain huts. It is the most accessible trail from the Tokyo metropolitan area.
The trail itself is not technical, but it is steep and comprised of loose gravel and volcanic debris - requiring handholds at times. In the peak of the climbing season (August 4th-15th) the number of climbers on the Yoshida Route can average over 8,000 people a day causing foot-traffic and crowded climbing conditions.
The official climbing season is from July 1st through September 14. The top portions of the trail are often covered with snow right up until the trail opens on July 1st. In fact, crews are often dispatched to remove snow in order to open the trail.
The original Yoshida Trail starts from the Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine, often referred to as "Sengen jinja (shrine)" by locals, where pilgrims over 500 years ago came to pray prior to their religious ascent.
Bus service from Fujisan Station (formerly Fujiyoshida Station) is available to Kitaguchi Hongu Fuji Sengen Shrine. The service continues up the road to Naka-no-Chaya and Umagaeshi, saving one to two hours of hiking respectively. This traditional route has gained recent popularity as it provides a much more historical and traditional climbing experience.
The Umagaeshi is located just below the 1st Station. It was historically the point at which horses could go no further. Hence the name Uma (horse) Gaeshi (to return). This is a beautiful hike that leads climbers through a hushed forest full of centuries of marked history. It provides a much different climbing experience than then typical 5th Station-to-Summit hike.
The climb from Umagaeshi to the 5th Station takes approximately 2.5 hours. (All climbing times are relative)
Click here for bus information to the Sengen Shrine, Nakanochaya, and Umagaeshi.
The Fuji Subaru Toll-Road provides vehicle access to the 5th Station. Most climbers choose to climb Mt. Fuji from the 5th Station. The hike from the 5th Station to the summit takes approximately 5-7 hours depending on one's pace. Many climbers start late in the evening (7-10pm) and climb through the night to reach the summit in time to see the sunrise (goraiko). Many bottlenecks are created due to the crowds, making it difficult for climbers to climb at a faster pace along various parts of the trial. The hike back down to the 5th Station takes about 3-4 hours. Please know that the ascending and descending trails are separate [map]. There are no services available on the descending trail, so please prepare enough drinking water.
The Fuji Subaru Line was completed in 1964 offering for the first time in history an opportunity for visitors to gain access to the mountain above the treeline
without ascending by foot. It is currently open all year round with the exception of hazardous weather and the climbing season during which it only remians open to buses and large vans. Those who plan on driving to Mount Fuji should plan on parking personal vehicles and taking a bus to the 5th Station.
The Fuji Subaru Line is closed to private vehicles during the peak of tourist season between the following dates: July 1 - August 31
Buses from the base area (Fujiyoshida and Kawaguchiko) run daily throughout the climbing season and frequently during the spring and fall.
Click here for current bus service information.
Hiring a taxi is another option. Taxis provide more flexibility and days of access, but they are expensive. Prices range, but typically run at about ￥12,000 one-way. If you're traveling with a group that could split the fare, this could be a viable option. Hotel and Hostel Staff/Tourist Information Centers can assist in arranging this service.